In the time of World War I (1914–18), the British Government recruited a number of labourers and porters from the Naga tribes. As part of the labor corps, around 2000 Nagas and many more from North east led by RS Ruichumhao were sent to France, where, alienated from the other British Indian troops, they developed a sense of unity. They agreed that after returning to their homeland, they will work towards unity and friendship among the various Naga tribes. These Nagas under RS Ruichumhao leadership come together with the British officials, formed the Naga Club in 1918. Mr. R.S. Ruichumhao was one of the few who can speak English and translate to fellow Naga about the ideas of the important of forming Naga Club. No doubt he is one of the visionary leaders who contribute the ideas of forming the Naga Club. However, His name was excluded in the signing of memorandum to Simon Commission because his interest has turn toward spreading of Gospel in Nagalim.
The historic ‘Memorandum of the Naga Hills’ that was officially submitted to the Indian Statutory Commission on January 10, 1929 by the Naga Club, also popularly known as the letter to the Simon Commission, ought to be acknowledged as perhaps the starting point for what we have come to understand as the ‘journey of common hope’ for the Naga people.
The formation of the Naga Club at Kohima in the year 1918 by the Naga elders was a sincere attempt to bring about a common platform from where the needs and aspirations of the people could be voiced. On the other hand, the letter to the Simon Commission is inspiring in that it had the foresight and vision to recognize early on, the rights of the Naga people, while demonstrating the spirit of oneness that is so lacking today.
Once in an academic discussion in Jawaharlal Nehru University, a noted historian from the northeast stated that the Kukis and the Nagas are traditional enemy, this was resented by some young Naga scholars and make the historian to retract his statement. It is true that despite the history of the Kuki-Naga relationship was marked by mistrust and suspicion, the enmity between the Nagas and the Kukis are not older than the colonial period.